Using the Experience Sampling Method to Study Sexual Risk Behavior among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

Jeffrey S. Simons, Stephen A. Maisto, Tibor P. Palfai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Toward the goal of advancing understanding of rates of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) populations, this article provides preliminary data on the use of the experience sampling method (ESM) in a sample of 165 MSM. Participants completed 6 weeks of experience sampling in two 3-week measurement bursts with a 3-week rest interval. Criterion validity of the random and retrospective daily assessments was supported by expected within-person correlations between sexual risk behavior and sexual arousal. Participants reported some sexual activity with a male partner on 18.62% of the days, condomless anal sex (CAS) on 6.52% of days, and not using condoms on 66.56% of days they had anal sex. Over half of the variability in CAS was at the within-person level, which suggests the significance of time varying contextual factors. Finally, CAS reports were relatively stable across the study, suggesting a lack of reactivity to the self-monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 22 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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